Extraordinary Life

I’m one of those Oregonians who has grown up thinking they live in one of the prettiest places in the world. I still think that. But since we’ve been married, we’ve been in two (and soon three) other places that might rank even higher.

Kaua’ii, Hawaii, fully lived up to its name as the Garden Isle. Killarney, Australia, was as breathtaking as I’d imagine its predecessor in Ireland to be. And while we haven’t yet been to New Zealand, I’m assuming it will soon trump all the rest—we’ll find out here shortly. 🙂

We have one week and two days left here at Jazam, two weeks and two days till we go home. That’s part of the beauty of traveling—looking forward so much to finally going home.

Another part is sharing bits and pieces of those travels with the friends and family who wish they could’ve come, too.

But maybe the biggest part is reveling in the beauty each place has to offer and glorifying the Hands and the Spirit and the Voice Who made it. So here’s a bit of His beauty that we’ve enjoyed in the past two weeks . . . ...continue reading

Jazam. The name is enough to make me like living here.

I wasn’t so sure about it at first. The place, that is. We got here in the dark after an eight-hour train ride from Sydney, and it felt so cold and empty and kind of spooky. Big, naked windows everywhere. Echoing, concrete-walled rooms and corridors. Rugged floors that made you resolve to keep your flip flops on. And later, stories of snakes and rats in the kitchen.

But we found ourselves here, and there were seven weeks ahead of us, and the more we got used to it, the more we started to see the character in the place and to like it for what it is. Apparently no one wants to leave Jazam after having lived here for a while. $400,000 is a bit beyond our range though, even if we did want to move to Australia. 🙂 So we’ll enjoy it while we’re here, and dream of all the things we would do to it if it was our house, and be ever so glad to walk back into our double-wide in Gervais when we finally are home again. ...continue reading

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The plan was simple: drive ten or eleven hours north, see the Great Barrier Reef, spend a couple nights at Oaklea Bed and Breakfast, and then come home.

Enter Cyclone Debbie. I can’t complain—all we suffered from her was a little upheaval of our plans, which turned the trip all the more into an adventure. There are others who suffered far worse from her turbulent waves and awe-inspiring winds. She left behind a lot of wreckage, and for some, a heartful of grief. So before you keep reading, stop and say a prayer for those affected the most. Next time it could be any of us. ...continue reading

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After three amazing days in Sydney, you’d think this post would be chock-full of pictures of the Opera House, the Sydney Harbor Bridge, and Manly Beach . . . don’t worry, those pictures are coming, but for this post at least, they’ll have to wait.

Because there’s something I’ve been even more impressed with lately. Or rather, someone.

I’ve been impressed with this someone long before this trip was even a dream, but something about this trip has shown me all over again just how capable and kind and encouraging this someone is . . . ...continue reading

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There's airplane roar in my ears, a little duffel at my feet, and a Canadian customs form on my lap, and we are setting out on the adventure of a lifetime. . . but something about the lights of Portland drifting slowly away below us makes me nostalgic, and I can't wait to come home.

In the meantime though, our visas are Australian, and we have high hopes of beautiful, quiet beaches and a steady warmth that Oregon's been missing for too long.

It's not every day that your husband calls you on his way home from work and offhandedly mentions that the guy he's working for said he could use him in Australia. It's not every day that you reply to his "that'd be crazy" with "it wouldn't be that crazy." And it's certainly not every day that you suddenly find yourself ironing out tickets and visas and hotel stays.

We've been incredibly blessed. And what God gives He gives for a reason, so we are looking for His reasons along the way.

If the wifi is good, this blog will turn into a travelogue, so if you're apt to get jealous, feel free to stay away for two months. 🙂

Yeah, two months. Work and holiday in Australia for almost seven weeks, then a stop in New Zealand on the way home. I still can't believe it. I've quite wanted to go to Australia for a long time, but I've even more wanted to go to New Zealand.

All the same, two months is so long, so say a prayer for us as you think of it, and enjoy our Oregon if you happen to be in it because I'm sure there will be times when we'll be jealous of you while you're jealous of us.

But life is life, no matter where you are, so live it fully. It's beautiful, whether you're in Gervais, OR, or Armidale, NSW.